Brian Shaw Close To NBA HeadCoaching Job

Brian Shaw has put in his time. He was a long-time and highly regarded assistant coach under Phil Jackson with the Los Angeles Lakers. When he was bypassed for Mike Brown when Jackson retired, Kobe Bryant was upset.Shaw was insulted and bolted to the Indiana Pacers, where he served this season as associate head coach on a team that surprised many.Now, he’s in the running for two head-coaching positions: in Charlotte and Orlando.Shaw, who won three titles as a player, is among the hottest assistants in the league and could land in with the Magic. Michael Jordan, owner of the Charlotte Bobcats, reportedly is considering Shaw and current Lakers assistant and former Missouri coach Quinn Synder.Jerry Sloan, the Hall of Famer and former coach of the Utah Jazz, pulled his name from consideration for the Charlotte job.Snyder interviewed with Jordan and the Bobcats for a second time this week. And while Shaw has more NBA experience than Snyder, winning three titles as a player and another two as an assistant coach with the Lakers, he has never been a head coach. Snyder has only two years’ experience as an assistant coach in the NBA — starting in 2010-11 with the Philadelphia 76ers followed by last season with the Lakers — but prior to that spent seven seasons as the head coach of University of Missouri followed by three seasons as the head coach of the Austin Toros in the D-League. read more

Chris Webber Sixfigure Tax Lien

Chris Webber has run out of timeouts with the State of California and now they’ve filed a six-figure tax lien against the five-time NBA all-star … TMZ has learned.According to documents filed by the California Employment Development Office, CWebb owes the state for unpaid taxes from the last few months of 2008 and all of 2009. The initial amount was for $81,427.36, but with $25,874.56 in penalties and $11,629.05 in interest … the former Sacrament King now owes $118,930.97.

About Those Falcons Play Calls …

Every Super Bowl loser wants a do-over, but no team has had as disastrous an ending as Atlanta had in the final nine minutes of Super Bowl LI. If the Falcons were given 1,000 do-overs, they would have been expected, according to ESPN’s win probability model, to win the game 996 times.All the Falcons needed was one more point, one defensive stop or perhaps even just one more minute of burnt clock to zero out the New England Patriots’ 0.4 percent chance to surmount a nigh-insurmountable lead.Why didn’t they?“I think we ran out of gas,” Falcons head coach Dan Quinn said at his post-game press conference. Even so, Quinn’s offensive machine should have been able to coast to the finish line after being up 28-12 with possession of the ball and less than 10 minutes to play. Instead, bad decision-making turned domination into capitulation.The Falcons, as I wrote one FiveThirtyEight’s Super Bowl live blog, had been stunningly effective on the ground all game. The Patriots’ rush defense ranked fourth in Football Outsiders’ Defense-adjusted Value Over Average (DVOA) this season, yet the Falcons had piled up 94 yards and a touchdown on just 14 carries.Starting at the 9:40 mark, Falcons running back Tevin Coleman ran on first and second down, getting injured on the latter play but setting up 3rd-and-1 from the team’s own 36-yard line. Rather than dial up another clock-eating run, offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan called a pass play. Coleman’s backfield partner, Devonta Freeman, whiffed on his blocking assignment, and Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan was strip-sacked.After the Patriots capitalized on the turnover with a touchdown, the Falcons ran 11 offensive plays — and only two of them were runs. Despite needing more than anything to wind the clock down to zero, Shanahan gave only two more carries to Freeman, who’d been averaging 8.2 yards per carry until that point.This is where football coaches, who spend numerous hours micro-analyzing schemes and matchups as they build out their game plans, can lose the forest for the trees. It may well be that Shanahan had a perfect play called up for that situation, or a matchup he knew Ryan could exploit. Ryan, after all, had completed 13 of 16 passes to that point; another short completion seemed like an easy ask. But the Falcons needed to maximize their chance of finishing the game with more points, not their offensive efficiency. Should Terrell Owens Be In The Hall of Fame? Related: Hot Takedown Even if the Patriots had stopped Freeman short of the sticks on 3rd-and-1, it would have run 30 more seconds off the clock, and an average Matt Bosher punt would have placed the Patriots inside their own 20-yard line with less than eight minutes to play. Instead, the Falcons’ only turnover of the game gave the Patriots the ball 5 yards from the red zone with 8:24 left on the clock. Even an unsuccessful run and decent punt at this juncture might have been enough to win the game, considering that the Patriots would go on to score the game-tying touchdown with just 57 seconds left. (Then again, having one fewer minute may have just meant that the Patriots would have scored even faster.)Incredibly, Shanahan and the Falcons later doubled down on their mistake.On the ensuing Falcons possession, Ryan gripped it and ripped it. The Falcons moved from their own 10-yard line to the Patriots’ 22 with a 2-yard run sandwiched between two deep passes. They then ran once, for a loss of a yard, shaving 44 seconds off the clock. Then, Shanahan dialed up another pass — and Ryan took his fifth sack.“You don’t think, just run the ball and make your guy kick a 50-yard field goal,” Shanahan told reporters after the game. But wait — why wouldn’t you think that?Running two more times, even for no gain, would have forced the Patriots to burn two timeouts. The Falcons were on the Patriots’ 23-yard line; a field-goal attempt from there would have been 40 yards, not 50. Falcons kicker Matt Bryant has made 78.2 percent of his career kicks from between 40 and 49 yards. With the score 28-20, going up by 11 with less than four minutes to play would likely have been as effective a dagger as going up by 15.In the end, Shanahan, Ryan and the Falcons offense can point to just about any metric and say they put together a masterful offensive game. They averaged a whopping 7.5 yards per play over the course of the game, far more than the Patriots’ 5.9, or even the Falcons’ league-leading regular-season average of 6.7.But sometimes the best performance in a vacuum isn’t the optimal performance in a game situation. That’s something Shanahan, reportedly set to become the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, is going to have to learn. read more

Vegas Has The Best Expansion Team In The History Of Pro Sports

The Vegas Golden Knights are only halfway through their inaugural season, and they’ve already redefined what anyone thought was possible for an NHL expansion franchise. Against all odds, the Knights are currently 29-10-3 with 61 points, good for the best record in the Western Conference — and only 4 points shy of the Tampa Bay Lightning for the best record in the entire league. It’s enough to make the Knights hockey’s greatest debut team ever, hands down.But that’s not all: Vegas is also lapping the field of expansion teams across every major pro sport. Even after adjusting for the way records are distributed in other sports, no other brand-new club in modern history came close to doing what the Knights have done so far. Expansion teams just aren’t supposed to have this kind of success this early.Constructed as a Frankenstein’s monster of unwanted parts from the rest of the league, a new club is usually very bad indeed. In a franchise’s first season, merely being “competitive” — code for losing but keeping things close most nights — is an admirable goal. And going into this season, there were plenty of people who had trouble seeing the Knights even reaching that modest level of success. Most outlets picked Vegas to finish either last or next-to-last in the Pacific Division.That was a reasonable expectation based on the past performance of first-year clubs. Our own analysis found that Vegas had dredged more talent out of the expansion-draft pool than normal — but that was just supposed to mean the Knights would exceed historical expectations. It didn’t mean we thought they’d make the playoffs, much less that they’d contend for the Stanley Cup.So far this season, however, Vegas has picked up 73 percent of the maximum number of points in its games and outscored its opponents by 0.7 goals per game. To compare those marks across NHL seasons, we converted them to z-scores, or the number of standard deviations they sat above or below league average. (This helps us account for changes in the league’s spread of talent over time and allows us to make comparisons between different sports — which will come in handy later.) In both categories, Vegas’s z-scores are easily the top marks for an NHL expansion team since the league blew up the Original Six and added six new teams in 1967-68:1Excluding the four World Hockey Association teams (the Edmonton Oilers, New England Whalers, Quebec Nordiques and Winnipeg Jets) that merged into the NHL in 1979. Although those teams held an expansion draft, they were also able to keep some of their existing players, and they had existed in the WHA since its founding, making them different from brand-new franchises starting from scratch. 1962Houston Colt .45’s-0.8-1.040.0-1.0 Vegas vs. NFL expansion teamsScore DifferentialWin percentage YearTeamValueZ-ScoreValueZ-Score 51994Mighty Ducks of Anaheim-0.3-0.37 Vegas vs. NBA expansion teamsScore DifferentialWin percentage 12018Vegas Golden Knights+0.7+1.28 1966Miami Dolphins-10.6-1.221.4-1.4 81968Los Angeles Kings-0.3-0.62 61968Minnesota North Stars46.6-0.40 1968Cincinnati Bengals-8.1-0.821.4-1.1 Vegas is destroying its NHL expansion competitorsBest z-scores (standard deviations relative to average) for point percentage and goals per game differential, NHL expansion teams (1968-2018) Vegas beats other sports’ expansion teams, tooHow the Vegas Golden Knights stack up against top expansion teams in each league by z-score* of winning percentage, 1961-2018 The Florida Panthers used to be the model for a successful NHL expansion team. Florida was more than merely competitive in 1993-94 — it finished one win shy of a .500 record and scored exactly as many goals as it allowed. Then, with the good core of talent they had picked up in the expansion draft, the Panthers made the Stanley Cup final three seasons into the franchise’s existence. Before Vegas came along, that was the gold standard for brand-new clubs: solid in the first year, outright good within a couple seasons. But the Knights’ debut has flipped those expectations on their head.(Yes, it should be noted that the 1967-68 St. Louis Blues made the Cup final in their first season. But that was solely because the NHL dropped all six of its new teams into the same division, the winner of which had to make the final. Every team in the new West division, which housed all the expansion clubs, had a negative goal differential during the regular season, but someone had to win it — and the Blues were that team. They were also swept by the mighty Montreal Canadiens when they played for the Cup.)2In fairness to St. Louis, it was as close a sweep as you’ll see; each game was decided by a single goal.Vegas’s season becomes even more impressive when you compare its z-scores to those of the top expansion teams from other sports. No modern MLB expansion club finished a season any better than the 70-win 1961 Los Angeles Angels; no debut NBA team ever topped the 33 wins of the 1967 Chicago Bulls; no NFL expansion team could beat the 7-9 Carolina Panthers from 1995. Hockey does tend to see its teams’ records more tightly bunched than in such sports as football and basketball, but even after adjusting for that with our z-scores, the Golden Knights’ current season blows away any would-be challenger from the NFL, NBA or MLB since the early 1960s: 1967Chicago Bulls-3.7-0.740.7-0.5 YEARTEAMPOINT %–Z-SCORE 41968St. Louis Blues-0.2-0.36 21994Florida Panthers+0.00.00 31968Philadelphia Flyers-0.1-0.15 Goal differential 71973Atlanta Flames-0.6-0.58 61968Pittsburgh Penguins-0.3-0.54 2018Vegas Golden Knights+0.7+1.372.6%+1.7 41968Los Angeles Kings48.7-0.16 YEARTEAMGPG DIFF.–Z-SCORE 1967New Orleans Saints-10.4-1.221.4-1.3 2018Vegas Golden Knights+0.7+1.372.6%+1.7 12018Vegas Golden Knights72.6%+1.73 81973Atlanta Flames41.7-0.57 Vegas vs. MLB expansion teamsScore DifferentialWin percentage 71968Pittsburgh Penguins45.3-0.57 1995Carolina Panthers-2.3-0.443.8-0.4 1993Colorado Rockies-1.3-2.141.4-1.2 1969Kansas City Royals-0.6-0.842.6-0.8 YearTeamValueZ-ScoreValueZ-Score 51968St. Louis Blues47.3-0.32 2018Vegas Golden Knights+0.7+1.372.6%+1.7 1969Milwaukee Bucks-5.1-1.132.9-1.1 91971Buffalo Sabres40.4-0.65 1961Los Angeles Angels-0.3-0.343.5-0.7 101994Mighty Ducks of Anaheim42.3-0.76 1971Portland Trail Blazers-4.5-0.935.4-1.0 21994Florida Panthers49.4-0.06 Full-season statistics are used for all teams except Vegas.Source: Hockey-Reference.com 1990Minnesota Timberwolves-4.2-0.926.8-1.3 Point percentage YearTeamValueZ-ScoreValueZ-Score 1961Minnesota Vikings-8.7-0.921.4-1.3 101971Buffalo Sabres-1.0-0.85 91971Vancouver Canucks-0.9-0.77 31968Philadelphia Flyers49.3-0.08 1968Seattle SuperSonics-6.5-1.328.0-1.3 1969Seattle Pilots-1.0-1.339.5-1.1 *Z-score is the number of standard deviations above/below average, relative to the overall league that season.Sources: Baseball-Reference.com, Basketball-Reference.com, Pro-Football-Reference.com One thing that jumps out is that many NHL expansion teams had better z-scores than the best expansion teams in the other sports. But why is it so much easier to build a strong NHL expansion team (relative to the league) than in the other Big Four North American sports? I don’t have a great explanation.Hockey is the sport with the least reliable individual stats — while scouts’ eye tests can be swayed by recency and other biases — so it may be that the caliber of players left available in the expansion draft is higher than in other sports. Or perhaps the outsize value of goaltending means one good pick between the pipes is enough to carry a team of talent-strapped skaters to respectability. Or maybe good coaching deserves more credit than it sometimes gets around the league. Whatever the reason, expansion teams have done better on ice in general, even before Vegas started to blow the doors off the league.We know that, in the NHL, it takes a lot of games to tell who’s good and who’s bad — which is why even a hot half-season can turn cold overnight. For Vegas, the heat has been generated by MVP-candidate seasons from the likes of William Karlsson and Jonathan Marchessault and a near Vezina-worthy performance from Marc-Andre Fleury — all players who were considered expendable as recently as seven months ago. Peeking under the hood, the Knights’ ratio of shots taken to shots allowed at even-strength is nothing special, even after adjusting for score effects and other factors. And let’s face it: Few teams can sustain this pace for an entire season: Of the 24 teams with at least 60 points in their first 42 games since 2005-06,3Excluding the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season. only one (last year’s Capitals) had a second-half point percentage as good as it did in the first half of the season.So it would be logical to assume that a second-half regression could be lurking around the corner for the Golden Knights. But the advanced stats don’t suggest that Vegas has been particularly lucky. In terms of expected goals (which measures where a team’s chances come from in addition to their volume), the Knights have the ninth-best ratio in the league.Regression or no regression, various projection systems consider the Knights all but a lock to make the playoffs, which would make Vegas the first expansion team to claim that honor since the 1968 season’s standings guaranteed that four new clubs would qualify. Even the in-town sportsbooks are paying attention to the possibility of playoff action in the desert: The Knights are currently tied for the second-best Stanley Cup odds of any team in the league.For an expansion team, all of this seemed unthinkable going into the season. New franchises aren’t supposed to be instant contenders. They’re supposed to struggle, to require years of building before achieving this kind of success. Vegas clearly doesn’t care about any of that. And now we have an entirely new yardstick with which to compare every other expansion club that comes along in the future, no matter the sport. read more

The Raptors Arent Ready For The Bucks

On this week’s episode of Hot Takedown, we evaluate the NBA and NHL conference finals. Despite the celebration of Kawhi Leonard’s historic buzzer-beater to put the Raptors into the Eastern Conference finals, Toronto head coach Nick Nurse thinks the Raptors need to get better before facing the Milwaukee Bucks. We look at how our projections compare with the Vegas betting markets in anticipation of this matchup and the Golden State-Portland series.In the NHL, the Stanley Cup playoffs have been full of upsets, with all four No. 1 seeds knocked out in the first round. In the West, San Jose and St. Louis are tied at 1-1, but in the East, the Carolina Hurricanes find themselves down 0-2 to the high-flying Boston Bruins. In a season full of surprises, can we really count Carolina out? Rob Reese of the NHL Fantasy on Ice podcast seems to think so.Finally, our Rabbit Hole of the Week is inspired by baseball’s Edwin Jackson, who is expected to suit up Wednesday for his MLB-record 14th team. We dig in to which other players, regardless of sport, have made the most rosters over their careers.What we’re looking at this week:Our NBA prediction model might surprise some Milwaukee fans.Will this be the year the St. Louis Blues stop disappointing their fans?Edwin Jackson sets a record. FiveThirtyEight More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed Embed Code read more

Chess World Celebrates A Sensational Move … That Leads To A Championship

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87654321abcdefgh “It’s going to be a complicated game,” said the grandmaster Judit Polgár, providing the official match commentary.And indeed it was going to be — for the players and your humble chess correspondent. My parents were in town, my sister was sweating over an oven, and forgotten provisions had to be procured. A table had to be set. Mashed potatoes had to be eaten. I tore away from the match and headed into the city.Having nervously missed a handful of moves on my train ride, I ascended from the serviceless subway station in time to witness something special from Carlsen, the defending world champion who had yet to do much special at all. One grandmaster told me his move was “phenomenal.” Another tweeted that it was “incredible.” A chess writer called it “sensational.” A chess instructor called it “fascinating.”So just what was it that Carlsen did with the black pieces here? It was pawn to b5.Erwin l’Ami, the grandmaster who called it “incredible,” described the idea behind the move, which ostensibly loses a pawn for Carlsen, as follows: Once Carlsen pushes that pawn to b5, Caruana can win it by moving his pawn to b6. (That may not appear to be a legal move, but it’s a special capture known as en passant, in which a pawn can diagonally capture another pawn that has just hopped up two squares next to it.) Carlsen could then take the rook on a3 with his rook, and Caruana could take that rook with his knight. Carlsen could then push his pawn to f3, encroaching further into white’s territory. Two pawn captures then ensue on that same square, followed by Caruana capturing there with his bishop. And then Carlsen could bring his knight into the action on e5. The result of that hypothetical line would have looked like this — a “huge attack” on Caruana’s king. read more

5 things we saw between Ohio State and Notre Dame

An OSU helmet sits on the field before the 45th annual BattleFrog Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 1 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. OSU won 44-28. Photo Credit: Samantha Hollingshead | Photo Editor GLENDALE, Ariz. – Before No. 7 Ohio State took the field to close out its 2015 season with a 44-28 victory over No. 8 Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl, The Lantern’s sports editors Ryan Cooper and Kevin Stankiewicz laid out five things they would be looking out for. Here are how those five elements transpired.Fast startsNotre Dame got the ball first to start the game and were given the gift of OSU redshirt senior Jack Willoughby sending the kickoff out of bounds. It was exactly what Brian Kelly wanted for his team, but the Fighting Irish could not convert that into a quick start, as they would have hoped. Instead, Notre Dame went three-and-out. For OSU, it was night-and-day different. The Buckeyes took over possession at their own 20-yard line and surgically marched down the field. Redshirt senior H-back Braxton Miller had 36 all-purpose yards and Ezekiel Elliott punched it in from 2 yards out to cap off a nine-play, 80-yard touchdown drive in just 3:01. “Obviously their first series was outstanding,” Kelly said. “They ran the ball effectively right down the field. So I just think that they executed very well early on.” From the get-go, it was clear the Buckeyes suffered from no cobwebs. The Fighting Irish, again, went three-and-out, including a false start penalty, forcing another punt. Just three plays later, the Scarlet and Gray found the end zone for the second time, this time courtesy of a 15-yard catch-and-run by redshirt junior wide receiver Michael Thomas. Notre Dame was able to claw back into game throughout the rest of play, getting it down to just a one-score deficit, at 28-21, but its ice-cold start, compared to OSU’s flaming hot one, clearly hindered the Fighting Irish. “It was the difference in the game really, those 14 points early,” Kelly said. “We had to play catch-up from there.” Trick playsIn postseason play, teams will often look to trick plays of sorts to try and catch their opponent off guard. That was the case in the Fiesta Bowl, however, it was only just once. Down 14-0, with 9:22 left in the second quarter, redshirt freshman quarterback DeShone Kizer threw a backward pass to redshirt sophomore wide receiver Torii Hunter Jr., who, instead of advancing forward, took a step back and looked to throw. Hunter had an open man in the end zone, tight end Alizé Jones, but the throw had slightly too much on it, as it fell incomplete just beyond Jones’ reach. Although the play was unsuccessful, it showed that Kelly was trying to find any way to kickstart his team after the sluggish start. OSU, for the most part, avoided any sort of trickery, but some unusual route combinations did appear at times throughout the game, notably on Thomas’ 13-yard catch on the first drive of the second half. End of the roadThe victory over Notre Dame gave the 18 members of OSU’s senior class 50 career wins, the most in program history. Although it couldn’t secure a second consecutive berth in the College Football Playoff, the Fiesta Bowl win was still a good final chapter for the group.“I am glad we got that win for them,” sophomore defensive end Jalyn Holmes said following the game. Many of the seniors that saw the field on Friday were instrumental in the outcome. Linebacker Joshua Perry’s seven tackles were tied for the team-high. On the offensive line, left tackle Taylor Decker was key, like usual, in excavating large holes for Elliott to run through and protecting Barrett. Right tackle Chase Farris, who at times has struggled during the year, turned in a solid performance, as well. As for Miller, one of the most decorated players in OSU history, his final showing in scarlet and gray was certainly not a bad one. The win marked the first postseason victory he was active for and, after disappearing at times during the season, Miller made his presence felt Friday. He finished with 26 rushing yards on two attempts, as well as two catches for 12 yards. Miller didn’t display any wicked spin moves like he did against Virginia Tech, but, all things considered, his OSU finale was a good one. Holmes said the senior class will be missed and that there is “so many” who have left their marks on the program, not only because of their performances on the field, but for the lessons they have taught off it.“All the seniors try to just help someone out in any way,” he said. “Chase Farris, (defensive tackle) Joel Hale, Joshua Perry, they all try and help on and off the field. That’s what made them so special.”  Barrett’s big-stage debutAfter missing out on postseason play last year, Friday’s Fiesta Bowl was Barrett’s bowl debut. The redshirt sophomore has not been known to melt under the bright lights, but wondering how he might respond to such a large stage was a valid question. He answered them soundly, ultimately winning the game’s most valuable player award.Barrett started the game with an eight-yard completion to Thomas, and from there, he continued to facilitate the offense exceptionally. He completed his first seven pass attempts for 82 yards and one score. The Wichita Falls, Texas, native also ran for 16 yards during the 7-of-7 stretch. Overall, Barrett finished the game 19-of-31 for 211 yards and one touchdown through the air, while also picking up 96 yards on the ground. He did have one interception in the third quarter after his pass was tipped at the line of scrimmage, but, for the most part, Barrett’s performance was very efficient. He showed no signs of the big stage making him crumble. After the game, Barrett praised the Notre Dame defense, but he said the key to the offense’s success was just taking whatever was given to them.“They tried to make sure they took away our (deep) shots,” Barrett said. “We was able to try to hit things underneath. (We) did a good job of that.” Finding help up the middleWith two starters on the interior defensive line out for OSU, there was plenty of attention centered on how it would compensate. The solution, it appeared, was to slide junior defensive end Joey Bosa into that position frequently alongside a rotation of other defensive tackles. But then, the solution once again became a problem, as Bosa was ejected after a targeting call with 5:26 left in the first quarter. It was a huge blow for the OSU defense, which, prior to the penalty, had just intercepted Kizer. The interception was negated and from there, OSU was forced to play without three usual starters on the D-line. Even so, the defense was able to limit the damage done up the middle, as it held the Fighting Irish to just 121 rushing yards. Kizer, who OSU was focused on slowing down on the ground, finished with just 21 yards on 15 attempts. “It just speaks of the program,” Holmes said about the defense still being able to be effective despite not having three starters. “It’s just a ‘next man up’ program. I feel like we played great. We did what he had to do to get the win.” read more

Buckeyes remain confident through turmoil

As the dust settles on an off-season to forget, Ohio State players are using the events of this past spring to their advantage. They’re using it as motivation. “We’ve gotten more pissed off,” said senior center Michael Brewster in a press conference Tuesday. “We’ve gotten a lot tighter and we’re working even harder toward our goals.” Brewster believes that it is easy to become content and complacent when you’re used to winning and this “gut-check” might just be exactly what the Buckeyes needed. “(Becoming content and complacent) is definitely not going to happen now I can tell you that, just because of everything that’s gone on,” he said. Brewster and the Buckeyes expressed that they have no intentions of losing hope this upcoming season. “All we think about is winning,” Brewster said. “Getting ready to win, and doing everything to win. We’ve been a part of a winning program since we gotten here and we’re not going to let that stop just because of what’s happened.” Senior defensive back Nate Oliver said although Jim Tressel’s departure on May 30 has been tough on all Buckeye players, they must continue to move forward. “It hurts,” he said. “But it gives you an extra burst, it makes you want to work harder… And we know that he’s always a phone call away.” Oliver expressed that he is confident in Coach Fickell’s ability to lead the team. “You lose knowledge (with Tressel gone), but you also have knowledge from Coach Fickell so it’s really not going to be that big of a drop-off,” Oliver said. “(Fickell) is going to bring that toughness. His toughness, his character, and his passion about what he does—guys are going to be lined up to play just like we always are.” While Oliver is fully confident of coach Fickell’s ability to lead the Buckeyes football team, he said he has continued to maintain a close relationship to Tressel after his departure saying that he talks to coach Tressel “once a week.” Senior lineman John Simon added that the departures have given the Buckeyes something to play for, but it is up to them to turn negatives into a positive. “It’s definitely going to put a chip on our shoulder,” he said. “But we’re going to have to game plan and practice hard all week and execute or it don’t mean nothing.” After the athletic director, Gene Smith, removed the “interim” title from now head coach Luke Fickell’s name this month, Fickell made his first statement as to his starting quarterback for the 2011-12 season. “(The quarterback job) is completely wide open, and (Joe Bauserman) understands that,” Fickell said. After allegations sidelined former quarterback Terrelle Pryor indefinitely, senior quarterback Joe Bauserman expressed that the job opening didn’t change anything. “There’s no change, you prepare for the long haul.” Not known for his leadership off the field, Bauserman says it will be extremely important for him to be an example for his teammates if he wants to be a leader. “I want to show the guys that I can workout with the best of them and I can give the most effort and be one of the tougher guys and stuff so they can do the same thing and believe in me.” Brewster and the Buckeyes fully expect to continue their winning ways this season and set their standards high. “Every season we have a goal to win the Big Ten Championship and the National Championship,” he said. “We’re full steam ahead,” Brewster said. “We’re fully behind coach (Fickell). We’re not going to skip a beat. “ read more

Ohio State earns first Big Ten win tops Purdue 7869

Junior guard Shannon Scott (right) drives to the hoop during a game against Delaware Dec. 18 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU won, 76-64. Credit: Mark Batke / Lantern photographerThe beat rolls on for the No. 3-ranked Ohio State men’s basketball team.OSU (14-0, 1-0) earned its first Big Ten win Tuesday, topping Purdue (10-4, 0-1), 78-69, in West Lafayette, Ind.A back-and-forth affair in the opening 20 minutes, OSU took a 34-33 lead into halftime after senior guard Lenzelle Smith Jr. hit a lay up just before the buzzer. Fellow senior guard Aaron Craft fired a pass to Smith Jr. from under the hoop on the play, one of Craft’s six assists in the half.After the break, the Buckeyes turned to junior forward LaQuinton Ross to carry them to victory.The Boilermakers center, sophomore A.J. Hammons, was a force inside, finishing the game with 18 points and 16 rebounds, but couldn’t match Ross, who poured in a career-high 25 points. He also collected 12 rebounds in the game.OSU’s big men, junior centers Amir Williams and Trey McDonald, combined for 21 minutes played and both picked up their third fouls in the first six minutes of the second half. That caused OSU coach Thad Matta to play Ross down low and guard Hammons.Ross played in the post for a majority of the second half, as Matta chose to play with the smaller lineup while OSU added to its lead.Williams and McDonald combined for only six points and four rebounds in the win.A tip-in by Hammons with just 1:38 left cut OSU’s lead to 69-64, but free throws by Craft, Ross, Smith Jr. and junior guard Shannon Scott helped put the game away.Craft finished with seven points, 10 assists, eight rebounds and four steals. Scott and Smith Jr. finished with 18 and 14 points, respectively.Up next, OSU is scheduled to return to the Schottenstein Center to take on Nebraska (8-4, 0-0) Jan. 4, 2014. Tipoff is set for noon. read more

No 12 Ohio State mens basketball team falls to No 24 North

Sophomore forward Marc Loving (2) passes the ball during a game against Campbell on Nov. 26 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU won, 91-64.Credit: Ed Momot / For The LanternPlaying away from Columbus for just the second time this season, the No. 12 Ohio State men’s basketball team fell on the road again, this time to the No. 24 North Carolina Tar Heels in Chicago, 82-74.OSU is now 0-2 against ranked teams this season, as it fell to then-No. 5 Louisville, 64-55, on Dec. 2.Just like in the loss to the Cardinals, the Buckeyes fell down by a lot, only to make a second half comeback that fell short.Down by as much as 18 with 10:41 left to play in the game, OSU cut the Tar Heel lead to seven with 1:19 left to play, but could not get any closer despite multiple missed free throws by UNC down the stretch.The Buckeyes (9-2), who played in the first of two games of the CBS Sports Classic, fell behind early at halftime, 43-31, to UNC as the Tar Heels (8-3) shot 51.5 percent from the floor in the first half and outrebounded OSU, 23-15.OSU was able to stay in the game early with its outside shooting, as the Buckeyes made six three-point field goals, but they couldn’t seem to get anything going inside as they shot just six of 20 from inside the arc in the first half.The Tar Heels, however, dominated the paint as they scored 34 of their 82 points from inside and outrebounded OSU for the game 53-40.The second half resulted in more of the same, as the Buckeyes shot just 32.5 percent from the field in the half and made just four of 17 from beyond the arc.The Buckeyes were led by sophomore forward Marc Loving, who tallied 19 points in the loss.The Tar Heels were led by junior forward Brice Johnson, who totaled 18 points in the game.The Buckeyes are set to return to the floor Monday to take on the Miami RedHawks at the Schottenstein Center. Tip is scheduled for 6 p.m. read more

Ohio State womens soccer looks to bounce back at Illinois

OSU freshman midfielder Sarah Roberts (10) during a game against Minnesota on Sept. 17 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. OSU lost 2-1. Credit: Sam Harris / For The LanternThe Ohio State women’s soccer team (6-3-2, 1-2-1) is preparing to travel to Champaign, Illinois, to face the Illinois Fighting Illini (8-2-1, 2-1-1) on Friday evening.Junior forward Nichelle Prince said she is leaving Sunday’s loss to Nebraska behind as the team looks to this week’s matchup. “We did not play to our best capabilities, so it is really important that we have a really good week at practice going into Illinois because we need that confidence back and need to get back to our basics,” Prince said.This week presents OSU with its third away game in a row, but Prince doesn’t believe the travel will serve as a challenge to the Buckeyes.“It’s just really important when we’re away to get the recovery needs that we need; making sure that even though we’re in a hotel that we’re getting the sleep we need, doing pool recoveries and stretching and foam rolling,” Prince said. “It’s not bad being away, we just need to make sure that we’re prepared and focused.”Last weekend when the Buckeyes were on the road, they had two games with a day of rest in between. The game against Illinois on Friday is the only contest on the road trip for OSU, which pleases OSU coach Lori Walker.“What I really like about this weekend is it’s a single game, and so our entire focus will go into what we need to do to compete against Illinois,” she said. The last time the Fighting Illini and Buckeyes met, OSU was defeated 4-1. Illinois is 6-0 at home this season, something that Prince said motivates her heading into the game.“I think that’s one of the things that’s really exciting because you get to go to their home and make an upset,” Prince said. “So, being on our game and playing for something, knowing that they have a lot of confidence, but so do we.”Walker said a key for success against the Fighting Illini is a well-rounded performance from all three lines — the defense, midfield and attackers. “We’ve had segments of games where each line is pretty special, but I don’t think we’ve had a full game yet where we are playing 90 minutes of quality soccer and not having lapses in our concentration,” Walker said.The Buckeyes are set to kick off at 7 p.m. at the Illinois Soccer Stadium. read more

Mens Basketball Ohio State hopes to close nonconference schedule with home win

Ohio State redshirt junior forward Keita Bates-Diop (33) hands the ball off to senior forward Jae’Sean Tate (1) in the first half in the game against Michigan on Dec. 4. Ohio State won 71-62. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorOhio State (10-4, 2-0 Big Ten) begins the true Big Ten season on Jan. 4, but before then, the Buckeyes have one final nonconference game against Miami (OH) Saturday.The last two seasons, it was a challenge for Ohio State to escape the nonconference slate without a bad loss on its resume. Although the Buckeyes don’t have a signature nonconference win, avoiding a gargantuan letdown against the Redhawks (7-5) will end the nonconference schedule without a major blemish.The game tips at noon at the Schottenstein Center on ESPNU. Here’s what to expect.Projected startersMiami:G — Jake Wright — Redshirt junior, 6-foot-4, 202 lbs., 8.8 ppg, 1.2 rpg, 0.5 apgG — Darrian Ringo — Junior, 6-foot-2, 173 lbs., 8.6 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 7.9 apgG — Nike Sibande — Freshman, 6-foot-3, 178 lbs., 14.0 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 0.9 apgF — Dalonte Brown — Freshman, 6-foot-7, 196 lbs., 7.0 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 0.3 apgF — Logan McLane — Senior, 6-foot-9, 225 lbs., 10.3 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 0.9 apgOhio State:G — C.J. Jackson — Junior, 6-foot-1, 175 lbs., 13.4 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 4.2 apgG — Musa Jallow — Freshman, 6-foot-5, 200 lbs., 3.9 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 1.3 apgF — Jae’Sean Tate — Senior, 6-foot-4, 230 lbs., 12.6 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 3.1 apgF — Keita Bates-Diop — Redshirt junior, 6-foot-7, 235 lbs., 18.7 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 1.4 apgC — Kaleb Wesson — Freshman, 6-foot-9, 270 lbs., 12.2 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 0.7 apgScouting Miami (OH)Ranked No. 257 by KenPom.com, the Redhawks are led by freshman guard Nike Sibande, who has attempted more than half his shots from 3-point range. Sibande is shooting 37 percent from deep and 44.4 percent from the field and plays roughly 31 minutes per game. If the Redhawks are to pull off one of the biggest upsets of the year, Sibande will need to have the best game of his career.Miami is statistically one of the worst offensive teams in the country. Per 100 possessions, the Redhawks score just 95 points, according to KenPom, which ranks 312th in the country. They also turn the ball over on more than 23 percent of their possessions, ranking 322nd out of 351 teams.In its two games against major conference opponents Missouri and DePaul, Miami attempted an average of more than 28 3-pointers and allowed the opponent to shoot 63 and 54 percent in effective field goal rate.Outside of the first half against North Carolina, Ohio State has shot the ball well for the past month. Saturday against the Redhawks should be no different.What to expectHoltmann said Friday before the Miami matchup that his team didn’t play well through ball screens last Saturday against North Carolina. The Buckeyes will see plenty of that Saturday with the Redhawks trying to free Sibande on nearly every possession.“Our ball-screen defense can be improved,” he said. “That’s going to be tested tomorrow. They have an outstanding point guard. Really good shooting around him.”As mentioned before, this is Ohio State’s final nonconference game. Holtmann has said for a couple weeks that it has been a main focus for the team to finish the nonconference schedule strong and enter the Big Ten season with any sort of momentum. Ohio State, ranked No. 46 by KenPom, has an opponent it is vastly superior than to work on any shortcomings it had against the Tar Heels.“Our turnover percentage would certainly be one,” Holtmann said. “We can continue to improve defensively across the board … The biggest thing is you have a chance to finish the nonconference and feel really good about it. And that’s what’s in front of us here tomorrow.”If Miami’s past games against high-major opponents are any indication, Ohio State’s 48 percent second-half shooting against North Carolina will carry over to Saturday and redshirt junior forward Keita Bates-Diop will be the difference maker, again, with his size and length.Prediction:Ohio State wins 87-63 read more

Womens Volleyball Ohio State continues into Big Ten schedule

Ohio State head women’s volleyball coach Geoff Carlston watches theaction during his team’s match with Purdue on Friday, Oct. 27 at St. John Arena inColumbus, Ohio. Purdue won the match 3-0. Credit: Jeff Helfrich | Lantern ReporterContinuing into the heart of its Big Ten season, Ohio State will head to Rutgers on Friday and Penn State on Saturday.The squad will face Rutgers, which stands at 6-11 for the season and is on a four-loss streak, having lost every Big Ten match played.The Buckeyes and the Nittany Lions will have a rematch after Ohio State took the win in four sets in their previous match. Since then, Penn State has fallen from No. 4 to No. 9 in the AVCA Coaches Poll. The Buckeyes will be coming off a tough loss to Indiana last week, and this will be their first opportunity to prove their strength since then.“I thought Indiana revealed where we’re trying to fill some gaps in terms of our leadership and voice,”  Ohio State head coach Geoff Carlston said. “I know it wasn’t from lack of intent or lack of want but I think it just exposed our youth quite a bit. But that’s not an excuse, it’s our job as a group to navigate those moments.”Junior middle blocker Madison Smeathers also took the Indiana match as an opportunity to reflect on the season.“It’s a good reminder that you can never be complacent,” Smeathers said. “No matter how high your highs are you can never have too low of lows.”The Buckeyes have not lost to the Scarlet Knights since 1981 and has won the past seven matches in straight sets. The Nittany Lions have a 48-16 advantage in the all-time series.Penn State leads the country with 3.18 blocks per set and Rutgers is fifth with 2.97. Penn State’s freshman middle blocker Serena Gray is No. 7 in country with 1.55 blocks per set and Rutgers’ junior middle blocker Stasa Miljevic is 13th with 1.49.Smeathers looks to these teams and others in the Big Ten as motivation. “You can always look around at other teams in the Big Ten and see what other people are doing, and that keeps you hungry,” Smeathers said. “Losing obviously is a big killer that keeps you going, and so is coming into practice knowing how much better you can get every day.”The Buckeyes will face Rutgers in Piscataway, New Jersey at 7 p.m. on Friday before heading to University Park, Pennsylvania to face the Nittany Lions at 7 p.m. on Saturday. read more

I miss Christmas cold weather and you What girl 11 tells mother

first_imgI said to her, ‘Christmas is coming – you should be here for Christmas’. She said, ‘I really miss Christmas, I miss cold weather and I miss you’Lacey Plato Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. An 11-year-old girl who was abducted by her father four years ago and taken to live with his relatives in the Middle East phoned her mother in England and said “I really miss Christmas, I miss cold weather and I miss you”, a family court judge has been told.Former bank clerk Usama Al Barwani – who is in his 30s and comes from Portsmouth, Hampshire – had returned to the UK after taking daughter Aishah and son Faris, eight, abroad following the breakdown of his relationship with their mother Lacey Plato.He was subsequently convicted of abduction and was released last month after serving half of a four-year jail term imposed by a crown court judge.Miss Plato, also in her 30s and from Portsmouth, has launched separate family court litigation in a bid to get the youngsters – who she believes are in Oman with Al Barwani’s sister – back to England.center_img She told a judge – at the latest in a series of hearings in the Family Division of the High Court in London – how Aishah had called her without warning a few days ago.”I said to her, ‘Christmas is coming – you should be here for Christmas’,” Miss Plato told Mr Justice Hayden. “She said, ‘I really miss Christmas, I miss cold weather and I miss you’.”Miss Plato said the connection was lost shortly afterwards.Barrister Jonathan Evans, who represented Miss Plato, suggested that he might ask for Al Barwani – who was at the hearing – to be committed to prison for not arranging the return of the children in breach of family court orders.But Mr Justice Hayden said he wanted to give the children’s parents a chance to talk.He ordered Court 45 at the Royal Courts of Justice to be emptied so that Miss Lacey and Al Barwani could speak privately.The pair chatted for more than 30 minutes. Al Barwani indicated afterwards that he would contact relatives in Oman and try to make arrangements for the children’s return.Mr Justice Hayden said the pair’s discussions gave him “real hope”, and said he would reconsider the case again in the near future.Last year, another judge – overseeing an earlier stage of the litigation – had described Al Barwani as “disgraceful”.Mr Justice Moor had said it was rare that a court was faced with a father who could behave so “wickedly”.Miss Plato told Mr Justice Hayden that Aishah would be 12 on Dec 21.last_img read more

HMS Queen Elizabeth comes to the Royal Navys spiritual home in Portsmouth

first_imgFor Captain Jerry Kyd, who was at the helm of HMS Queen Elizabeth yesterday, fears of  making history for the wrong reasons can’t have been far from his mind. At its narrowest point, the mouth to the 600-year old harbour has just 65ft clearance on either side of the 65,000 tonne ship.“I didn’t shut my eyes,” he said. “It was quite tight coming through the gap. It was also emotional because as an aircraft carrier captain, I brought HMS Ark Royal in here for her last arrival some seven years ago.”So it is full circle – bringing the new generation of the next aircraft carrier into service is something very special professionally and personally.”But as a military man, he believes the carrier sends “the right signal to our allies and indeed potentially to our enemies that we mean business”.Although, the ship is at the moment far from a fully functioning aircraft carrier, her arrival in Portsmouth signifies the next stage in her development. For the last seven weeks she’s been undergoing intensive sea trials to check, among other things, propulsion.While helicopters have landed on her deck – which is the size of three football pitches – the £100 million F35s will not touch down on her until next year. Even then, she is a few years from being truly ready for service. But for the Royal Navy officers and crew aboard, the ship’s motto “Semper Eadem” or “Always the Same” summed up the Navy’s historical relationship with both Britain and the Hampshire city they were heading for. Tens of thousands of flag waving wellwishers, including many relatives of the crew, ship builders and designers, lined the harbour to greet her arrival.Since 1194, when Richard the Lionheart summoned a fleet in the city, Portsmouth has been the navy’s most famous base. Admiral Nelson sailed from the city for the final time to command the fleet to defeat the Franco Spanish armada at Trafalgar. And, in 1545, Henry VIII, whose daughter the ship is named after, stood from nearby Southsea Castle and watched the Mary Rose sink in the Solent. First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Philip JonesCredit:PA Theresa May Captain Jerry Kyd Captain Jerry KydCredit:Carl Court/Getty Admiral Sir Philip Jones said the arrival of HMS Queen Elizabeth at her home port was a “seminal moment” in Naval history.“It is part of an unfolding renaissance in our maritime industries. Within both the Royal Navy and British industry, a generation have put their best years into making this a reality.”It is going to take time and patience to introduce this into service. I would like to acknowledge the fabulous support of the US and French navies, who we have worked with and continue to do so.”As we prepare to leave the European Union, this will take our message of partnership and prosperity to the rest of the world.”HMS Queen Elizabeth embodies the nation’s future ambition. She will be the embodiment of Britain in steel and in spirit.”She will demonstrate the kind of nation we are – not a diminished nation withdrawing from the world, but an outward-looking and ambitious nation with a Royal Navy to match.”For the families of servicemen and engineers, the event was more personal.Christine Feltham, 59, had come from Southampton to watch her 26-year-old son, a weapons engineer, arrive aboard the carrier.”The ship was even bigger than I expected. It’s great to know he was part of it on its maiden voyage. I am very proud of him.”Sarah Smith had travelled from Hull, East Yorkshire, to welcome her 20-year-old daughter, a sea spec, who was on board as it docked.”It’s very exciting. I am very proud of her. I saw the ship when it left Rosyth, but I am very excited to see it finally come home. It’s a good moment and I would not miss it for the world.”John Mander, 77, from Bude, Cornwall said he was “very proud indeed” of his son, who is one of the BAE Systems workers on board.The sheer size of the ship meant dredging vessels had to spent months removing 3.2 million cubic metres of sediment, so the ship could navigate the channel.For Captain Kyd, the role of the carrier, like the Naval vessels that sailed in the centuries before her, remains simply “Semper Eadem”.”I think it is what the country needs, I think it is what the Armed Forces needs to give a balanced power projection capability.we mean business”There were no tears in my eyes, but there was a feeling of intense pride and satisfaction. I was just so pleased for my ship’s company who have done so well and so much work over the last few years.”center_img Speaking from the flight deck, Theresa May drew parallels with the ship’s power and the steadfast spirit needed to get the best from Brexit.”Britain can be proud of this ship and what it represents. It sends a clear signal that as Britain forges a new, positive, confident role on the world stage in the years ahead we are determined to remain a fully engaged global power, working closely with our friends and allies around the world.”As highly versatile and potent assets they will be able to meet the widest range of challenges around the world.She added that the ship’s supporting task group, to include HMS Prince of Wales, a similar aircraft carrier still under construction, the UK would have “a truly world-class carrier strike capability for decades to come”. Shortly after sunrise yesterday, the colossal HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier made her way dead slow alongside the clanking Outer Spit Buoy that sways at the entrance to Portsmouth Harbour.As the Royal Navy’s largest and most powerful warship began her final approach to berth for the first time at her military base, Hawk jets and Wildcat and Merlin helicopters gave a thunderous ceremonial fly past.For the Prime Minister, the arrival of the “mighty” £3 billion investment in “21st Century engineering” was proof Britain remained a “great global maritime nation”.Admiral Sir Philip Jones, the First Sea Lord, said the 900ft long carrier was the “embodiment of Britain in steel and spirit”, perfect for an outward looking and ambitious nation ready to embrace life after the Europe Union. First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Philip Jones Theresa MayCredit:Ben Stanstall/AFP Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

Poisoned Russian spy and daughter should be allowed to die says friend

first_img Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. The next-door neighbour of Sergei Skripal, who claims to be his best friend, has said the Russian spy and his daughter should be allowed to die.Ross Cassidy, a haulage contractor, said he had not been able to visit Sergei Skripal or his daughter Yulia in hospital, but that he believes they are so critically ill there is no hope they will be revived.A judge last week in a court ruling about the medical condition of the pair the consultant treating them in Salisbury district hospital, who said: “The hospital has not been approached by anyone known to the patients to enquire of their welfare.”Mr Cassidy, who Sergei Skripal moved  house next to in 2010, denied that this was true and told Sky News: “That is misinformation, because we care.”I asked the police several times if we could go and see them, quietly and away from the media, but I was told quite categorically that we were not allowed. We asked the question and the answer was ‘no’.” “We’ve already been told they will be severely mentally impaired and I don’t think they would want that. I think death would probably be merciful.” He said that despite the fact he did not know what the properties of the nerve agent were, he believes the pair will never wake up.The haulage contractor explained: “Quite frankly, what future have they got? I don’t know the properties of this weapon that was used on them and my guess is they are probably being kept alive by artificial means and what life will they have if they survive? Mr Cassidy said he got to know  Sergei, his wife Lyudmila, his son Alexandr (who was known as Sasha) and Yulia very well after the former intelligence officer moved next door.Yulia Skripal’s friends and family have previously spoken out about the condition of the spy and his daughter.Victoria Skripal, a niece of Colonel Skripal, said that his mother has not yet been told about the nerve agent attack.She told the BBC: “Our priority is to protect our grandmother so that she does not hear anything. “She will not know until the very last moment. “She will know when this situation is somehow resolved, that is, if there is a logical end. If the story ends badly, we will tell her that they fell ill.”last_img read more

Britains longestserving poppy seller to hang up her collecting tin after 97

Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Rosemary Powell collecting in London, as the former Second World War nurse is planning to retire from selling poppies later this yearCredit:Royal British Legion /PA  During the Second World War, Mrs Powell trained as a Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD) nurse providing civilian nursing to the military.She went on to train at St Thomas’ Hospital in London and later worked as a matron at Powderham Castle, then a finishing school, in Devon in the late 1940s.In the 1950s, she lived in Africa for a year and made poppies out of paper to give to local people during Remembrance.From 1975 to the mid-1990s, she lived in France with her Royal Navy officer husband Selwyn and sold blue cornflowers, the French equivalent to British poppies.When she returned to the UK, Mrs Powell sold poppies in London including at the Kings Mall shopping centre in Hammersmith. Rosemary Powell and husband Selwyn on their wedding day in 1952 Britain’s longest serving poppy seller is to hang up her collecting tin after 97 years. Rosemary Powell, 103, believed to be Britain’s longest-serving and oldest poppy seller, is planning to hand over to a new generation of fundraisers as she is “getting old”.As a child she lived close to where poppies were made in Richmond and sold them on Twickenham Bridge for the Royal British Legion’s first Poppy Appeal in 1921 at the age of six, alongside her mother Evelyn.She has sold poppies ever since, even when living abroad with her husband, and has carried on since she moved into a nursing home three years ago. Recalling the first poppy appeal, Mrs Powell, a widow and great-grandmother, who now lives in west London, said: “The poppies were so popular I remember that we ran out in no time.”My mother was very good at making things with paper and she left me to sell the last few while she nipped over to this sort of general flower shop not far from bridge to buy some red crepe paper to make her own poppies for us to sell.”She made these very simple little poppies and we soon sold out again. Rosemary Powell and husband Selwyn on their wedding day in 1952Credit:Royal British Legion /PA “It was the very first one so it really caught the public’s attention.”Mrs Powell’s father, Charles Ashton James, served with the 126th Baluchistan Infantry and was left wounded after being shot in the head during the Battle of the Somme, and she also lost two godfathers and three uncles during the First World War.Her first fiance, Robin Ellis, a commander in the Royal Navy, died in 1944 when the Lancaster bomber he was flying in crashed near Inverness, and her younger brother Peter, a major in the Army, died during the Second World War.”Right from the beginning, people talked about the Poppy Appeal. It has always been a very important cause for me,” she said. “We did it in memory of those men who were killed, for their sacrifice.” Rosemary Powell collecting in London, as the former Second World War nurse is planning to retire from selling poppies later this year Rosemary Powell at the age of 6Credit:Royal British Legion /PA Rosemary Powell at the age of 6 In 2015, she moved to a nursing home in Chiswick but continued collecting for the appeal by selling poppies to fellow residents.Giles Powell, the son of Mrs Powell, said he was “incredibly proud” of his mother. “Mum has led a fascinating life and now it’s time, poignantly during national Volunteers Week, for her to hang up her collecting tin and encourage the public to volunteer their time to the Legion, which is a fantastic cause.”Emma Cannings, director of membership and volunteers at the Royal British Legion, described Mrs Powell as “an incredible woman”.”Her volunteering effort has been nothing short of phenomenal, and we are incredibly thankful for her support over the generations,” she said. read more

Novichok victim reveals he accidentally gave girlfriend nerve agent perfume bottle as

The couple became ill at a property in Muggleton Road in Amesbury, eight miles from Salisbury, and were taken to hospital.Mr Rowley and Ms Sturgess, 44, were victims of the second nerve agent attack in four months following the case of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. They were found unconscious on a park bench in Salisbury in March.Police are believed to have identified the suspected perpetrators of the Novichok attack on Russian former spy Mr Skripal and his daughter.Mr Rowley, 45, was discharged from Salisbury District Hospital on Friday after being admitted on June 30.Video: Victims’ friend tells how couple fell ill Speaking about those who discarded the bottle, Mr Rowley told The Sun: “It’s very careless of them, the way they go about their business leaving things lying around.”It was meant for someone, it was wrong to leave it lying around for anyone to pick up. There could have been children playing with it.”Meanwhile, his brother, Matthew Rowley, told The Mirror: “His legs are playing up and he can’t really walk. He was up on Sunday but he is really weak still. “I’ve been trying to push him for information but he has been through a really traumatic thing.”It’s difficult talking to him as he still can’t really remember anything. He hasn’t talked about Dawn and I don’t want to ask because I’m trying to lift his spirits, not bring them down.”Matthew Rowley told the newspaper that his brother is “very lethargic” and “does not seem himself”. One of the Amesbury novichok attack victims has revealed that he accidentally gave his girlfriend who died from the poison a tainted bottle that he believed to contain perfume as a present.Charlie Rowley’s partner Dawn Sturgess died on July 8 after the pair became exposed to the deadly nerve agent after handling a contaminated bottle later found in Mr Rowley’s home.Mr Rowley said he recalls a “cosmetic bottle”, which he gave to Ms Sturgess.”I’m feeling very low about Dawn,” he told The Sun newspaper. “I remember finding a cosmetic bottle which I had picked up and gave it to Dawn as a present.”I feel very sad about what happened to her, it’s awful and shocking. I was still on medication when they told me she passed away. I don’t think I will ever be able to get over it.”My heart goes out to Dawn’s family. It’s amazing that I’m alive. In a way I feel lucky I survived but I’ve also lost so much.” read more

VA museum launches lingerie line inspired by cushion covers

The V&A have launched a new collaboration alongside a luxury lingerie brand after designers were inspired by ornaments found inside the world famous museum. The collection which features 32-pieces including bras, panties, bodysuits, nightwear and accessories has been created in collaboration with Coco De Mer.The range is made up of four collections, each one inspired from a series of artifacts from the museum’s collections, with Coco de Mer producing exclusive embroideries and prints. An 18th-century glass bottle inspired the design for the Golden Heron pieces of lingerie, while the designs of the Botanical Beauty pieces came from the details of cushion covers in the V&A’s textile collections.“I love the Victoria & Albert Museum, and felt that as two British heritage brands with a love of beauty we were very well-matched,” said Coco de Mer chief executive officer Lucy Litwack. “We met and felt that we could develop a lingerie collection that would embody the key elements of both of our brands — luxury, opulence and glamour.”Also featured in the collection is a leaf motif on the Midnight Vine range which stemmed from the V&A’s collection of Korean lacquerware while the red hues of the Signature range were drawn from a textile designed by William Morris in 1882. “From the final details and finishes of each item to the product names, we have collaborated with Coco de Mer to make sure that the collection blends the V&A brand handwriting with Coco de Mer’s aesthetics.”Prices for the luxurious underwear ranges from £65 for a lingerie bag to £595 for a kimono and are now available to pre-order on the Coco de Mer website. The V&A Collection by Coco de Mer shot by Rankin and The Full Service will be available from the 15th August Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. The V&A Collection by Coco de Mer shot by Rankin and The Full Service will be available from the 15th AugustCredit:Rankin/The Full Service “The V&A and Coco de Mer share a passion for high-quality and exquisite design so we were delighted when they approached us about a line of luxury lingerie,” said Lauren Sizeland, head of business development and licensing at the V&A.  read more

AG presents case to strike out Red House matter

The Attorney General Basil Williams, SC today presented before Chief Justice Acting Yonnette Cummings Edwards reasons why the legal proceedings on the Red House dispute should be thrown out.Williams contended that the court has no jurisdiction on the matter since the Red House lease is invalid and therefore could not be pleaded in any court of justice.He argued that the Red House should have been treated in the manner of a transport as is required by law.The AG further reasoned that no one can come to a court to sue the President or challenge any actions taken by the President.Attorney at Law, Anil Nandlall, in his affidavit, recognized that President David Granger had ordered that the Red House lease be revoked.Moreover, the AG contended that Nandlall failed to make full and frank disclosures about his contention in the Red House matter.Against this backdrop, he contended that the court has no jurisdiction and should not even hear the matter.Nandlall, in response, argued that the AG contentions are deeply flawed and that the points made do not relate to the jurisdiction of the court.He posited that they relate to whether the case has merits or not and that those arguments are premature to be made at this stage of the proceedings.According to the Williams, the matter will be called up again on March 2, 2017. (Devina Samaroo) Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedRed House lease challenge: Another conservatory order grantedAugust 10, 2017In “Court”THE RED HOUSE SAGA: AN UPDATEDecember 30, 2016In “Local News”Govt seeks to amend court order on Red HouseFebruary 4, 2017In “Court” read more